[thelist] asp questions...

martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com martin.p.burns at uk.pwcglobal.com
Sun Nov 19 14:12:01 CST 2000

Memo from Martin P Burns of PricewaterhouseCoopers

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It *should* be possible to do this without a db, although a db may
be faster and easier.

All you're doing is setting a relationship between a story ID (or in
the CNN case, the path) and an include, built from article headlines.
It might work something like this:

Someplace on your server you have a bunch of text files, one for each
section of the site. Then in the template for each section, you have an
include which pulls out the correct text file and includes it as the sidebar,
something like
<!--#include virtual="/resources/this_section_sidebar.fhtml" -->

That's the easy bit.

The harder bit is to build the headlines into the text files. For this, you're
either going to have to
1) add new stories via a web form, processed by server-side script to
   write the content into an appropriate template (this is the better option),
2) when you've hand-added each new story, you'll have to go to an admin
   tool which just adds the new headline and link to the file (not so good), or
3) you'll have to hand-edit the include files (not at all good).

Option 1 could also write the headline & link into an index page.

Now a lot of this works *way* better with a db-backed system, as you then
have much more flexibility to move stuff around simply by changing a record
in the db, rather than hand-hacking each page (A Bad Thing (tm)).

Actually, what CNN have running is a fairly robust Content Management
System which does a lot of this automatically. What I've described is the
start of a very basic one. It's not ideal, but it's a hell of a lot better than
hand-editing. We have a slightly more advanced CMS running the evolt
site - shout if you want to know more about how it does its voodoo stuff.


Please respond to thelist at lists.evolt.org
To:   "thelist at lists.evolt.org" <thelist at lists.evolt.org>

Subject:  [thelist] asp questions...

Issue #2)

How'd they do that? I'm looking at the cnn.com site and notice that they are
using a consistent right sidebar with text that updates based on the story
you are currently viewing...


How is that done??? I want to highlight words on the side and top nav bars
to indicate which level the viewer is viewing. The client does not want to
incorporate a database nor set cookies on the user's computer.

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